Wed. Jul 24th, 2024
Outcomes of the Fourth Negotiating Session on a Global Agreement to End Plastic Pollution

The United States is encouraged by progress made during the fourth session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee to develop an international legally binding agreement on plastic pollution (INC-4) in Ottawa, Canada, April 23-29.

Throughout the session, the United States engaged with stakeholders, including from non-governmental organizations, fenceline communities, scientific organizations and the business community, to help inform the ongoing negotiations.

We worked collaboratively with more than 170 countries, as well as observers, to further develop an agreement that will offer a path to end plastic pollution. Countries made progress in line-by-line negotiations on a broad range of topics contained in the draft text, and the United States is encouraged by the progress made specifically on chemicals, plastic products, and national action plans. We put forward textual proposals in several sections, including obligations aimed to control emissions and releases of hazardous pollutants from plastic production facilities and waste management facilities handling plastic waste. We depart INC-4 with a streamlined draft text that will serve as the starting point for further negotiation at the next INC session in Busan, Republic of Korea this December, which we find critical for negotiations to stay on track to conclude at INC-5.

We appreciate the leadership of the Chair of the INC in building convergence around a program of intersessional work to advance the process heading into the next round of negotiations in Busan. The United States was supportive and pleased to see countries agree to establish ad hoc open-ended expert groups on means of implementation and on approaches to products, chemicals of concern, and related product design issues.

We were encouraged by the constructive dialogue among countries during INC-4 and remain optimistic that the text of the agreement can be finalized by the end of 2024. The United States was pleased to see countries stand with us in promoting a modern financial architecture for the agreement that will bring more resources to countries most in need.

The United States worked with other countries to promote universal obligations on polymers, chemicals and products and other parts of the plastic lifecycle that reduce the demand for primary plastic polymer production. We recognize that downstream measures alone will not be enough to end plastic pollution. The United States supports each party being obligated to take measures to identify and control chemicals, including polymers, that present a risk of concern to human health or the environment. As part of these obligations, the U.S. approach also focuses on driving down the demand for new plastic.

We deeply appreciate the hard work by the UN Environment Programme, the chair and co-facilitators of this INC, and the Government of Canada that organized a productive negotiating session in Ottawa this week.

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originally published at Politics - JISIP NEWS